Swelling occurs in a condition where the ankles, lower legs and feet muscles have an excessive buildup of a fluid. Swelling can be simply defined as the situation in which thickness of the skin increases due to some systematic symptoms. It occurs as a result of some systematic conditions such as injuries, infections, fracture, diseases of joints etc. for example; arthritis. Swelling may also lead to an increase in the body weight in a short period of time.
The problem of swollen feet and legs medically is known as ‘Edema’. Problem of Swelling generally occurs in warm summer months. One possible reason for this can be continuous standing and walking for long hours. Persistent or excessive swelling may causes damage to the skin if proper medical treatment is not taken. It should not be taken lightly because excessive swelling may cause skin ulcerations.
Pregnancy may also be one of the reasons for the swelling of feet and lower legs. In fact swelling of feet and lower legs is quite common during pregnancy. But during pregnancy, water pills should not be used as treatment for swelling because it can be harmful for the health of mother and child. Swelling tends to resolve automatically after the birth of child. Sometimes, it may take few weeks for recovering. One thing must be kept in mind that sometimes excess of swelling may result into lot of urine output. Swimming is the best treatment for the pregnant ladies as the water pressure on the skin, forces the tissue fluid back into the veins which helps in recovering from swelling.

What Causes Swelling?
• Lack of nutrients, Having a poor diet, high in salt and carbohydrates
• Pregnancy
• Sodium Retention
• Muscle Injury and joint infections
• Allergic Reactions
• Trauma
• Drug Abuse
• Heart, Liver and Kidney Failure
• Fracture
• Mental Strain
• Less Blood Pressure – If the circulation of blood is slower than normal, it may result to swollen feet.
• Medications – swollen legs can also be caused by some of the medications such as birth control pills, steroids etc.

Excess Swelling can result into:
• High Blood Pressure
• Headaches and Strains
• Increased Urination
• Swollen hands and wrists
• Weight gain
• Feet Stiffness and pain
• Discomfort in walking

What Measures should be taken to Reduce Swelling?
• Eat less spicy food because it contributes to the fluid retention.
• Drink plenty of water
• Use support stockings as it promote blood circulation and limit the movement of fluid. Almost each drug store or medical shops carry these stockings.
• Do exercise regularly as it improves the circulation of blood.
• Avoid standing and walking for long period of time.
• Avoid continuous sitting for hours and keep your muscles active with help of suitable exercises.
• Review your medication with your doctors.
• Wear proper fitting of shoes and socks.
• Try to reduce excess weight.
• Mediation is also helpful in recovering.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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